James Roby made Castleford pay for his Super League Dream Team omission with a superb man-of-the-match performance that keeps St Helens on course for a place in the Grand Final.
Castleford's rising star Daryl Clark got the nod for the hooking role in the Dream Team ahead of the England regular, who demonstrated all his old skill with two early tries and an all-round industrious display to which Castleford had no answer.
It was routine for Saints, who were presented with the League Leaders' Shield before kick-off, as they moved effortlessly to within 80 minutes of a return to Old Trafford with a clinical 41-0 victory at Langtree Park.
St Helens' seven-try triumph - in which Dream Team winger Tom Makinson scored on his 100th appearance - earned them next week off and they will also get the chance to select their home semi-final opponents via the controversial ClubCall system.
Castleford, who missed the chance to pip Saints to top spot by losing to Catalan Dragons in their final league game, will have another chance to reach the last four in next week's elimination semi-finals but - like Huddersfield after the first qualifying play-off - will need to find a vastly improvement if they are get back on course for a maiden Grand Final appearance.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell responded to their mini-slump by dropping stand-off Marc Sneyd, one of the stars of the season, in favour of Jamie Ellis while Australian winger Justin Carney made an unexpected return in place of the injured James Clare.
Saints coach Nathan Brown also sprung a surprise by switching second rower Mark Flanagan to scrum-half. He acquitted himself well but it was Roby who the star of the show.
Clark began the match on the bench - with Adam Milner preferred as the Tigers' starting hooker - and entered the action midway through the first half moments after Roby had broken the deadlock by forcing his way over for the game's first try.
Five minutes later Roby repeated the feat, this time from 10 metres out, and Mark Percival kicked his second conversion to make it 12-0. Saints let slip a 10-0 lead in their last match but they soaked up Castleford pressure to keep their line intact up to the break and increased their advantage of the stroke of half-time with a drop goal from Jordan Turner.
Any hope of a Castleford fightback was snuffed out within five minutes of the restart when Roby worked a run-around with Sia Soliola to free Turner, who sprinted 50 metres for Saints' third try.
Roby then became trysaver when he managed to get his leg in the way to prevent Castleford centre Michael Channing touching down after a rare breach of the Saints defence.
Trailing 19-0, the visitors were forced to chance their arm and it cost them another try when St Helens winger Adam Swift, a replacement for the injured Matty Dawson, picked up a loose ball and went 70 metres for a solo score.
The home side were denied a penalty try when skipper Paul Wellens was pulled back while chasing Roby's grubber kick to the line but Castleford captain Michael Shenton was sin-binned for the offence and Saints took advantage of the extra man to increase their lead.
Makinson took Percival's pass to cross at the corner and, as the Tigers began to tire, front-row forwards Kyle Amor and Mose Masoe both demonstrated brute strength to force their way over for close-range tries.
Percival took his goal tally to six from seven attempts to wrap up a convincing victory.
Sport now and in Rugby, Castleford Tigers now only have one more chance to make it through to the grand final play off after being hammered by St Helens tonight.
It is the Tigers' fourteenth successive loss to Saints, who clocked up 13 points in the first half. Castelford failed to threaten the Saints' try line and the score finished 41-0.
Leeds United take on Huddersfield Town tomorrow afternoon in the West Yorkshire derby at Elland Road.
The Terriers will be out for revenge after losing 5-1 to their bitter rivals last season.
But Leeds are in decent form under caretaker head coach Neil Redfearn, having picked up 7 points in their last 3 games. Ben Erlam reports.
Huddersfield Giants head coach Paul Anderson described his side's heavy defeat at Wigan last night as "embarrassing".
Leroy Cudjoe was the only Giants player on the scoresheet as Huddersfield lost by 57 - 4 in their qualifying playoff game. The result means the Giants know another defeat will signal the end of their season.
Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince has revealed he did not consider there to be a racist element to the verbal abuse delivered to him by Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.
Gale was banned for two matches after being reported by umpires for his part in an unseemly bust-up at the end of the third day's play in the Roses match earlier this month. That punishment was then extended by the England and Wales Cricket Board to prevent Gale playing an active part in lifting the LV= County Championship trophy following Yorkshire's victory at Trent Bridge last week.
Subsequent reports indicated that Gale had referred to South African Prince as a "f***ing Kolpak" and that the racial connotations of the term were key to the charge.
The phrase Kolpak refers to a Maros Kolpak, a handball player who set in motion a legal precedent that now allows some foreign-born cricketers to play in England under the laws of the European Union.
Yorkshire are backing their man staunchly and will surely have taken note of a revealing interview given by Prince to South African station Ballz Radio.
In it he admitted time-wasting, explained he was unhappy with the aggressive nature of the abuse Gale responded with but appeared unmoved by suggestions of racism.
"I took offence to the way he spoke to me, that's the bottom line," Prince told the broadcaster.
"The way the guy approached me and spoke to me, that's what I took offence to. I didn't stand there and think, 'That may be a racial slur'.
"What happened was the guy walked towards me and had a go at me and I defended myself. If the ECB feels there's racial connotations to it, that's up to them to do whatever they want to do.
"It's gone all out of control at the moment.
"People are calling me a cry baby, but at the end of the day I want to clear it up, I didn't report this guy to the ECB, the umpires did."
Gale is expected to be at Headingley throughout his side's final championship game of the season against Somerset next week, with a disciplinary hearing initially slated for Tuesday pushed back to allow for all the relevant parties to be involved.
There is a big West Yorkshire derby at Elland Road tomorrow when Leeds United take on Huddersfield Town.
The Terriers will be out for revenge after losing 5-1 to their bitter rivals last season. But Leeds are in decent form under caretaker head coach Neil Redfearn, having picked up 7 points in their last 3 games.
Calendar's Chris Dawkes spoke to Huddersfield manager Chris Powell and former Leeds United captain Lee Peltier who returned to the Terriers in a semmer transfer.
A former Premier League footballer from Huddersfield has appeared in court after being charged over an alleged match-fixing conspiracy.
Delroy Facey was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery earlier this month following a National Crime Agency inquiry. Facey was at Birmingham Crown Court for the brief hearing, wearing a blue shirt, and appeared composed as he sat in the dock, listening to proceedings.
He is set to re-appear at the crown court for a plea hearing on October 27.
Appearing alongside Facey was Moses Swaibu, 25, formerly of non league Brighton-based Whitehawk FC who is accused of one count of the same charge.
Swaibu is facing re-trial after a jury failed to reach a verdict in June.
Both men are set to be tried over the allegations in April, next year.
Facey, 34, of Huddersfield, played 10 times for Bolton in the top tier of English football from 2002 to 2004, and was originally arrested in November 2013.
During his career Facey also played for West Brom, Hull, Notts County, Lincoln and Tranmere.
Both men appeared on unconditional bail.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce has challenged his players to take advantage of the apparent crisis at Newcastle when the sides meet tomorrow.
Newcastle are bottom of the Premier League after last weekend's 4-0 defeat at Southampton, where fans called for manager Alan Pardew to step aside. Bruce, a Geordie himself, has inevitably been linked with the job this week.
Ben Swift has signed a two-year contract extension with Team Sky.
The British squad announced that the 26-year-old from Rotherham has committed to them until the end of 2016, following Geraint Thomas in extending his stay with Sir Dave Brailsford's team.
Swift has raced in five Grand Tours since joining Team Sky for their debut season in 2010 and claimed 11 victories in the same period.
Swift, who was third in Milan-San Remo in March, said: "I really do feel part of the foundations of this team, having grown up with so many of the riders and staff.
"With the team's support I've been able to grow and develop as a rider and by staying here I know that will continue."